AUSTIN, TEXAS - The University of North Carolina track and field teams only had three student-athletes competing today in the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays, but each one came away with a new personal record, including Xenia Rahn who came 55 points shy of breaking the UNC women's heptathlon school record.
"I was able to place fourth, but I'm really just happy to compete again," Rahn said. "My injury last semester was a major setback but the great support from the trainer and coaching staff helped me overcome it quickly. Coach Langley is a great coach and I'm happy about how well we work together as a team. This meet was exciting because it was the first heptathlon I competed in with a UNC uniform.
"Last weekend got me excited because I put up some great marks. This weekend was just for me to prove that I'm ready to compete at a high level."
Rahn, a junior from Hamburg, Gernmany, finished the meet in fourth place with a score of 5,523. On Wednesday Rahn ran 14.07 in the 100-meter hurdles for 968 points, eighth best in the field of 24. She also finished eighth in the high jump after clearing 5-6 ½ (1.69 meters) earning 842 points. Rahn gained 656 points after finishing fifth in the shot put and throwing 39-1 ¼ (11.92 meters). She gained 775 points in the 200 timing in at 26.25 with a strong headwind. Rahn finished Wednesday in eighth place overall.
Today Rahn moved up five spots in the heptathlon thanks to two terrific performances in the long jump and javelin throw. Rahn had the third-longest jump in the field at 19-4 ¾ (5.91 meters) and she also had the fifth-best throw in the javelin throw at a distance of 136-3 (41.53 meters). At this point Rahn had 4,760 points and was only 818 points away from the school record.
"Going into the 800, my plan was to break 2:26 in order to break 5,500 points," Rahn said. "So I knew I had to go all out, especially since the 800 is really not my favorite event."
She did break 2:26 timing in at 2:24.51, worth 763 points, and capped off the second-best heptathlon score in UNC history.
"Breaking the record was not a goal for this meet, but I'm happy I got so close," Rahn said. "There are definitely some areas we can still work on, so now is the time to get ready for ACCs!"
Emily Godwin also competed with Rahn in the heptathlon. The freshman placed 14th and set a new career best at 5,118 points. On Wednesday Godwin ran 15.16 in the hurdles and earned 821 points, but placed third in her best event: the high jump. Godwin gained 916 points from the high jump after clearing 5-8 ¾ (1.75 meters) despite strong winds. In the shot put Godwin threw 32-9 ½ (9.99 meters) for 529 points and ran 25.99 in the 200 for 798 points. She finished Wednesday in 14th.
Today Godwin jumped 18-2 ½ (5.54 meters) in the long jump and threw 99-2 (30.24 meters) in the javelin throw. After those two events Godwin, of Buckhannon, W.V., fell to 15th in the field of 24. But in her final event, the 800, she finished third in the field and ran a blazing 2:17.27 and earned 861 points. Godwin's total score of 5,118 demolished her previous PR by more than 300 points.
"It was a great couple of days for Xenia and Emily," North Carolina assistant coach Josh Langley said. "This was a big meet and they both stepped up and took advantage of the opportunity. For Emily it was her first taste of the national scene, and for Xenia to PR in her first multi meet of the year, it is a huge boost of confidence coming off an injury in the fall. They represented this program in a first class manner."
Avana Story, a sophomore from College Park, Ga., had an excellent performance in the hammer throw today. Story already held UNC's fourth-best throw in the hammer but she improved it by 13 feet today after throwing 192-9 (58.76 meters). Her monster throw was not the only thing impressive about her performance today. Story threw a total of five times, only fouled once, and her shortest throw was still farther than her previous collegiate record.
"Avana had a great meet as well," Langley said. "She had one of the best throws of her career and her best throw in a Carolina uniform. Her series of throws was the best she has had in a long time and it shows she's ready to throw even farther. I'm excited for the future."
The Texas Relays will continue tomorrow when Houston Summers and Cameron Overstreet will compete. Summers is throwing in the men's A section of the javelin throw. Overstreet is competing in the women's pole vault. Both events are expected to start at 11:30 a.m. central time. A recap of performances and results will be available on Goheels.com at the conclusion of the day.
While a few individuals are competing at the Texas Relays, most members of the University of North Carolina track and field teams will be traveling to Raleigh, N.C. to compete in the Raleigh Relays on Friday and Saturday. Some student-athletes will be making their outdoor season debuts in Raleigh this weekend and the team is looking forward to seeing familiar faces at the competition. The meet will be live streamed and have live stats but rain and thunderstorms could delay the meet for some time. A recap of performances and results will be available on Goheels.com after each day.